[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
July 4, 1980

Swedes insured against adverse drug effects

JAMA. 1980;244(1):10. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310010006002

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


In Sweden the entire population and all visitors are insured for many adverse effects of drugs. Introduced on July 1, 1978, the drug insurance scheme is a voluntary undertaking on the part of all Swedish drug producers and importers of foreign drugs and covers drugs sold or prescribed in Sweden. According to the World Health Organization, Sweden is the first country to introduce such a plan.

The scheme is viewed as a natural follow-up to the Swedish patient protection insurance plan that began in 1975 and covers injuries incurred in connection with medical and health care. Insurers are the same—a consortium of four large insurance companies.

The drug insurance plan is unique because it covers drug-related injuries regardless of whether the drugs themselves are defective. However, the coverage is restricted to somatic injuries; mental symptoms are covered only if they are the consequences of proved bodily injuries caused by drugs.